Video

Spoek Mathambo & DJ Spoko Star In The Most Mystical Video Of The Year With Fantasma's 'Eye Of The Sun'

Spoek Mathambo and DJ Spoko's South African "superband" Fantasma release the video for "Eye Of The Sun," the title track off their debut EP.


This year Spoek Mathambo and "bacardi house" founder DJ Spoko joined forces on Fantasma, their new five-man South African "superband" alongside Cape Town psych-guitarist André Geldenhuys (from the electric-blues duo Machineri), Zulu maskandi multi-instrumentalist Bhekisenzo Cele, and drummer Michael Buchanan. Their debut EP, a five-track frenzy of wonderfully clashing future (and past) sounds of Mzansi, arrived last month on Soundway Records.

Though we've seen some pretty outstanding desert trippy imagery from the project (Kent Andreasen's shot of Spoko riding this camel is one our favorite photos of the year), yesterday Fantasma unleashed a mystical feast for their frenetic title track, "Eye of the Sun." Shot by Travys Owen-- who also directed Petite Noir's iconic "noir wave" video for "Disappear"-- the clip follows the team of bandits as they trek through fantastical terrain. Watch the video below, and look out for a cameo from SA's blue-haired avant-gardist Moonchild (who also features on Fantasma's summery "ShangriLa" track). Eye of the Sun is out now on Soundway Records.

>>>Stream Fantasma's Eye of the Sun EP

>>>If you're having trouble accessing the video on YouTube, watch "Eye of the Sun" via Vimeo

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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